The RealReal issued its midyear luxury resale report today, and with 4.5 million members worldwide, the results reveal a lot about the luxury consignment industry.
The RealReal, which employs more than 40 authenticators, horologists and gemologists and operates four locations offering free jewelry and watch valuations, has sold over 2 million items.
“Our luxury resale report offers a unique look at what’s happening in the industry and the effect it’s having on shopping behavior,” said chief merchant Rati Levesque. “The report touches on everything from surprising jumps and shifts in brand popularity to international resale trends and predictions for the second half of the year.
“We’ve found that the resale market tends to accurately reflect changes and trends in the retail market and this report captures that.”
As The RealReal predicted in 2015, Gucci overtook Prada in the first half of this year, rising to the number-four spot, with Prada moving down to number six. Valentino rose to the seventh position and Céline dropped to eighth. Meanwhile, Dior advanced to 11 and Burberry fell from 11 to 16.
A new crop of “It” bags has been trending up in value, including Chloé’s Drew handbag, which gained 18 percent at resale, and the brand’s Marcie, 15 percent ahead; Gucci’s SoHo Disco handbag is fetching 10 percent more, and Hermès’ Constance, 60 percent. Declining in resale value were Fendi’s 2Jours, 22 percent down; Proenza Schouler’s PS1, 10 percent, and Céline’s Trapeze and Nano Luggage, each down 10 percent.
Six designers achieved triple-digit growth in the first half of the year over the first half of last year. They were: Saint Laurent, 167 percent; Brunello Cucinelli, 123 percent; Valentino, 110 percent; Proenza Schouler, 107 percent; Tom Ford, 106 percent, and Loro Piana, 101 percent.
According to The RealReal, luxury resale has impacted the counterfeits market. The RealReal said it removed more than 1,100 counterfeit items in the first half of 2016.
The RealReal said 76 percent of its consumers have changed the way they shop for full-price products, indicating they check resale value on the web site before shopping retail.
Certain fashion industry events and specific collections or products captured the attention of The RealReal shoppers. The departure in April of Hedi Slimane as creative director of Saint Laurent triggered the outsize growth of the label. Valentino’s sales were juiced in part due to the house’s Rainbow 1973 collection. Bohemian was a trend that resonated with consumers, who bought pieces from Zimmerman to Johanna Ortiz, while Dolce & Gabbana’s Sicily collection boosted sales of the brand by 68 percent.
On the men’s side, suiting sales rose 60 percent, with brands such as Tom Ford and Dior Homme eclipsing heritage labels such as Loro Piana and Ermenegildo Zegna. Men’s consignment more than doubled, growing 108 percent, year over year. The men’s Birkin bag from Hermes had appeal, with the product posting a 100 percent sell-through.
Verdura was the fasting-selling jewelry brand on The RealReal, with more than 80 percent of products selling within 30 days and at an average price of more than $6,000. Engagement ring sales leaped 280 percent, becoming one of the website’s fastest-growing categories. Luxury watch sales grew 150 percent in the first half of 2016, driven by Rolex, Cartier and Patek Philippe driving sales.
Three countries — Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Japan — have been leading international sales, each with triple-digit year-over-year growth. Australians have a penchant for Hermès; The RealReal said it ships more Birkin and Kelly handbags Down Under. Cartier and unbranded fine jewelry and watches lead sales in the UAE, while in Japan, Fendi’s Peekaboo reigned supreme, edging past Gucci handbags.
By the end of the year, The RealReal’s mobile and tablet shoppers will eclipse sales made via desktops, driven by the company’s iOS app and mobile responsive site.
Other nuggets of information gleaned from the study include the fact that interest in cruise collections has been building globally as consumers seek year-round wearability and focus less on seasonality. In addition, the RealReal expects major watch brands such as Rolex and Cartier to introduce models with lower prices in an effort to attract Millennials, while the luxury consignment site sees collaborations between Vetements and labels such as Burberry and Prada.